Etymology of your Surname

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Cellar_Door, May 20, 2009.

  1. Cellar_Door Whose Worth's unknown Registered Senior Member

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    I should be revising for my exams, but instead I've found an interesting way to procrastinate.

    I was watching a documentary on the Battle of Hastings and I decided to find out a bit more about the history of my rather appropriate surname - Norman. I was curious to know whether I was really descended from those raping and pillaging invaders from Normandy, or whether I was actually descended from those raping and pillaging Vikings from Scandinavia (NorĂ°men).

    The sites I found generally pointed towards the latter, but they all varied so much it was hard to make any sense of the information they provided. And don't even get me started on my mother's maiden name...

    So, for anyone who knows much about the subject, is it meaningless to try and trace your origins through your surname? Do surnames normally have more than one origin themselves? Have you ever got any further with researching your own?
     
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  3. Xylene Valued Senior Member

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    Many surnames (I hesitate to say most, but it's a very large percentage anyway) are occupational. eg Smith, Baker, Brewer etc, which have obvious origins; less obvious occupation surnames like Fuller, Jagger and Chapman; descent-derived surnames like Johnson, Thompson, Anderson, etc, or Scottish descent-names like McDonald, McLean, Irish names like O'Neil, O'Meara; location-derived such as London or Chester; I suggest you find a book on surname derivations at your local library (it will be in the genealogical section, somewhere in the 929 area by the Dewey System).
     
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  5. Challenger78 Valued Senior Member

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    My surname is a anglicized version of the arabic word for Warrior..
     
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  7. codanblad a love of bridges Registered Senior Member

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    an 's' was added to my surname when my great great grandfather (i think) had an argument and no longer wished to be associated with his family. lol. google says my surname originally meant 'red'. right.
     
  8. ili Registered Member

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    My original ancestors came from a German town near the border of France.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2009
  9. ili Registered Member

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    how far back can one go?
     
  10. tim840 Registered Senior Member

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    My last name is Italian for "rolls of paper."
     
  11. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    Mine is roughly polish for of the dogwoods
     
  12. Arsalan Registered Senior Member

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    apparently mine is Turkish meaning "King of the Lions".... great, I'm Simba

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  13. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

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    I'm sure my last name belonged to a slave-owner who I may or may not be related to. It's Old-English meaning "Nobility". I guess that's kind of cool.
     
  14. Cellar_Door Whose Worth's unknown Registered Senior Member

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    But indirectly your name is a strong reminder of your African roots. Mine tells me nothing.

    Probably something to do with the colour of your ancestor's hair. 'Rufus' used to be a nickname-turned-surname given to people in England, who were red-headed.
     
  15. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

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    If by African roots, you mean my famliy were slaves then yeah I guess, but other than that I don't know anything about heritage. Unless I'm related to said slave owners (which is possible) then I'm descended from nobles.

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  16. Arsalan Registered Senior Member

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    Thats an awesome avatar Marie. I luv that show lol

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  17. -ND- Human Prototype Registered Senior Member

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    hmmm mine does not exist
     
  18. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

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    Thank you, I do love imaginary friends

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  19. codanblad a love of bridges Registered Senior Member

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    funnily enough my mother's side has redheads, but everyone on my dad's side is black haired. additional searching says my surname actually means grip and lord. i don't know what to make of that, but i'm pretty happy that lord's in there somewhere.

    if ne1 could find the origin/meaning of moriceau i'd really appreciate it, perhaps they'd have more luck with a french site. i think oli and bells speak french, maybe shorty or her husband too? i'm worried its a made up name as i can't find it anywhere, but maybe it was just brutalized in the french-english translation.
     
  20. scifes In withdrawal. Valued Senior Member

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    my origin is so mixed..and there's no point in following my surname because this is it's story:

    when my great grandfather's town were collecting family heads and writing down the names..a certain family name was repeted so much..that the guy writing them down got fed up with it..so when my great grandpa said that his family name was that one too, the guy told him to forget it and make a new one..

    which my great grandpa did

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    searching for my surname now never comes up with two search results with the same nationality..!!
     
  21. Cellar_Door Whose Worth's unknown Registered Senior Member

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    As far as I know, the men actually overseeing the plantations, and capable of forcing their way into your ancestry, weren't the rich slave owners you're thinking of.

    Hmm, I think the general feeling I'm getting here is that surnames can tell you jack all about your original roots.

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  22. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

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    Then I have nothing. I'm descended from a bunch of sharecroppers, that's all I can be certain of. But that has nothing to do with my name. I don't know anything about my family past 4 generations ago, and that's only because some are still alive to talk about it.
     
  23. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

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    My surname is an anglicized and shorten version of the Finnish name that means "from Parvi" which makes it a location-derived name.
     

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